Monuments to the Impossible

A Cry, a Song, and a Sacrifice


  • Esther Lezra



What tools do cultural interventions offer us to face and speak back to the horrors of a colonial archive that continues to grow and expand in its mechanisms of dehumanizing and silencing the populations it targets? How do we respond to a horizon of reality that seems surreal? What weapons do we have left to fight or speak back when we know that the walking and living archive—officers, policymakers, schoolteachers, corporate investors, and the people successfully disciplined by them—denies the lives of the people who tirelessly labor for it? Facts, research, and logical argument barely hold up against the almost surreal arsenal of deliberately woven lies and institutional racism we face. This article briefly analyzes three discrete responses linked by unfathomable horror, beauty, and anger (a song, a cry of rage, and a sacrificial act of self-assertion) to the horrors of anti-Black brutality.